Do crocodiles really cry?

When someone fakes sadness, people say the person is shedding crocodile tears. This expression comes from the idea that crocodiles ‘cry’ when they consume their prey (a way of showing remorse!). But do crocodiles really cry?

Yes, sometimes, they do. According to some theories, the animal’s lacrimal glands secrete tears to lubricate the eyes, typically when they have been out of water for a long time and their eyes begin to dry out. However, evidence suggests this could also be triggered by feeding. When a crocodile eats its food, tears start collecting at the corner of its eyes, which slowly drip out and run down its face. Sometimes there are bubbles of foam. But they are not the ‘eater’s remorse’ as it is popularly believed.

Research carried out by zoologist Kent Vliet, University of Florida, on Florida’s alligators, in 2006-2007, found that the tears are part of their eating behaviour. Crocodiles also make hisses and ‘huffs when they eat. The hissing of warm air is forced through the sinuses, which triggers the tear glands to empty fluid into the eye, making the animal look like it is crying.


Picture Credit : Google